Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed Tuesday that he voted in favor of the Iraq War because he wanted to “prevent a war from happening.”
In his interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Biden was asked whether Bernie Sanders had better judgment than him because of the latter’s opposition to the Iraq War. O’Donnell asked this question in the context of former president George W. Bush and his characterizations of the threat Iraq posed to America at the time.
“Look, the reason I voted the way I did was to try to prevent a war from happening,” Biden answered. “Remember, the threat was to go to war. The argument was because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. So [Bush] said ‘I need to be able to get the Security Council to agree to send in inspectors to put pressure on Saddam, to find out whether or not he’s producing nuclear weapons.'”
Biden continued to say that he agreed with the rationale at the time because “that’s the way not to go to war.”
“I didn’t believe he had those nuclear weapons. I didn’t believe he had those weapons of mass destruction,” he said. “What happened was we went in, determined that they hyped what, in fact, was occurring. There was no concrete proof of what he was doing, and they still went to war.”
Biden’s explanation of his vote now conflicts with his comments at the time, as CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski pointed out on Twitter:
Biden said on the administration's WMD case in 2003: "I know there's enough circumstantial evidence that if this were a jury trial, I could convict you."https://t.co/LcR6klpreY
— andrew kaczynski? (@KFILE) March 10, 2020
Biden conceded it was a “mistake” to take Bush at his word about the circumstances leading to the Iraq War, “but the idea that Bernie Sanders’ judgment on foreign policy is superior to mine, I’m anxious to debate him on that question.”
Watch above, via MSNBC.
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